The beautiful goddess that is: Naomi Cambell, embarked on fashion week once again. Appearing in Versace’s show, alongside her supermodel friends, she graciously walked the runway as if she owned it. At Skin+Pepper, we would like to commemorate her achievements with a timeline.
Naomi was scouted when she was 15 years old while she was window shopping. Soon after that, she made her debut on the British cover of Elle.Her career certainly took off quickly, walking for such designers like Gianni Versace and Azzedine Alaïa, as well as being photographed by the likes of Bruce Weber and Peter Lindbergh. She became an in-demand model in the late 80’s.
Along the way, Naomi faced racial discrimination for her skin colour in addition to her heritage, but with the support from her friends and family, she found a way to rise above it all.
In 1987, she graced the cover of British Vogue, which hadn’t had women of colour on it since 1966. Following that milestone, she conquered French Vogue, who also had never had a black model on the cover.
Naomi didn’t stop there though. She took Vogue America, the front cover, the biggest month of the year: September.
In the 90’s she was formally dubbed a ‘supermodel’. With that claim, she walked arm in arm with other classified ‘supermodels’ for Versace 1991-1992 runway show, lip-syncing “Freedom! 90”.
She continued to master the covers of fashion magazines and further featured in music videos. Such as Michael Jacksons In The Closet.
Naomi continued in print modelling in the early 2000’s, as well as signing a cosmetic contract and released several fragrances.
Vogue USA created a shoot Modern Muses for the Millennial Issue, where Naomi and 12 other supermodels posed before Annie Leibovitz.
In 2007, she walked for Dior’s, 60th anniversary and additionally made a statement in an all-black issue of Italian Vogue, which was photographed by Steven Meisel.
Naomi has also taken it upon herself to be involved in many charities. Starring in a numerous amount of not-for-profit photo shoots, campaigns and more-over advocating for both global organisations or charities she has formed over the years. In 2010, Naomi was recognised for this, by receiving an award by British Elle.
In 2013, she wrote an open letter with the help of Iman and Bethann Hardison, to the governing bodies of global fashion week, who had one to zero models of colour featured in their runway shows. Naomi, quoted by Channel 4 News stated, “what we are asking for is that you are chosen based on your talent, on your beauty, not on the colour of your skin.”
In an interview, Naomi once stated “I understood what it meant to be black. You had to put in the extra effort. You had to be twice as good.” Naomi Campbell has broken the barriers of the Fashion Industry, by being such a strong, determined woman of colour and with that she has achieved great heights and further fought harder for diversity.
Never change Naomi.
By Rhianne Cottam-Starkey